School shootings have already killed dozens in 2018. At a high school in Parkland, Florida, fire rang out taking the lives of at least 17 students. Also this year in Texas, a 17-year-old shouted “surprise” when he took his dad’s pistol to school, killing at least 8 people.
Here at home, Richmond County is preparing for the worst and praying for the best: “We are really doing a lot of things to keep our kids safe,” Kaden Jacobs, Director of Communications for the Richmond County School System, told NewsChannel 6.
The CSRA Shield club awarded the school system with a $25,000 grant to step up security.
The county has 30 school safety officers, and right now they are equipped with body cams that were purchased years ago.
Jacobs explained, after extensive research, investing in upgraded body cameras is their best bet: “They will be time stamped. All the video will go to the cloud. It interfaces with the radio systems. They won’t have to wear a separate radio receiver.”
… and with the click of a button, the devices can snap pictures. So when school officers have to step in, break up a fight or just handle a situation, parents will get a clear picture and video of what really happened: “You can get a complete evidence package right there all with one software and one camera,” Jacobs explained.
Also coming to every classroom in the district: Additional safety locks on doors. The Department of Education gave money to counties across the state– Richmond got $223,000. These locks will be used in emergency cases, like lock downs: “This is an additional lock that secures the doors so that it really cannot be opened, even with force, without the device removed.”
In addition to equipment, Kaden told us other measures are rising to improve safety this school year: Like active shooter training and multiple lock down drills.
“Unfortunately, indicative of the times, it will become as common as a fire drill or a tornado drill, like when we were kids,” Jacobs concluded.
Those body cameras should be arriving in the next month or so, and Kaden said all of the locks will be installed by the end of this semester.